Roman Polanski says the #MeToo movement is the result of "hypocrisy" and "mass hysteria".

Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski

The 84-year-old filmmaker - who has previously admitted to having unlawful intercourse with a 13-year-old girl - has rubbished the worldwide campaign, which was launched in response to the Hollywood sex scandal to fight abuse and harassment.

Polanski said: "I think this is the kind of mass hysteria that occurs in society from time to time."

The French-Polish director has been a fugitive from the US since 1977, after fleeing the country as he was awaiting sentencing for statutory rape.

But Polanski - who has faced further allegations of sexual assault in recent years - has dismissed the movement, saying it's only attracted support because Hollywood figures "fear" speaking out against it.

He told the Polish edition of Newsweek magazine: "Sometimes it's very dramatic, like the French Revolution or the St Bartholomew's Day massacre in France, or sometimes it's less bloody, like 1968 in Poland or McCarthyism in the US.

"Everyone is trying to back this movement, mainly out of fear... I think it's total hypocrisy."

Meanwhile, Polanski - who currently lives in France - has threatened to sue the body that runs the Oscars after he was recently expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The 'Pianist' director's lawyer, Harland Braun, has called on the Academy to give him a fair hearing, warning it could avoid an "expensive lawsuit" in the process.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times newspaper, Braun explained: "The only thing we're asking for is a hearing, a chance to present his side.

"What I would hope is that [the Academy's legal counsel] would say, 'Let's avoid an expensive lawsuit. Let's just start over. We'll rescind the expulsion and we'll put him on notice that we're thinking of expelling him and we'll give you the opportunity to present your case.'

"That's the only rational thing. Otherwise, we've got to go to court and get a judge to rule that the Academy has to follow its own rules, which should be a no-brainer."

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